As President of the Foundation, I would like to extend greetings on behalf of the rest of the Z. Smith Reynolds’ board of trustees. Our executive director, Leslie Winner, is out on a much deserved leave and will be returning in early August.
We hope that these quarterly updates are helping you keep in touch with the grantmaking and other programmatic work that the Foundation is undertaking in pursuit of our mission – to improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians. We received positive feedback following the first quarterly update in December and plan to continue this outreach for the foreseeable future. Please let us know if there is something that we can do to make this update more useful to you. We have already incorporated some of your ideas by adding social media functions to the stories that follow. Feel free to share them on Facebook, Twitter or by email.
Our program officers are hard at work, driving across the state for site visits ahead of our May board meeting. Those of you who are familiar with the Foundation or who joined us for our Community Dialogue sessions over the last year in Wilmington, Charlotte, Boone, Fayetteville and Greenville know that our program officers are knowledgeable, engaged and inquisitive. They not only help us carry out the primary function of the Foundation, our grantmaking, but also identify emerging trends and challenges facing the state. There is no frequent driver program that will reward them with any perks for the long distances that they must travel, but we appreciate their willingness to reach out to all corners of the state.
Though our next grant application deadline is not until August 1, 2014, always feel free to let us know of any statewide, regional or community-based organizations that are working to make our state more inclusive, sustainable and vibrant. If there is a possibility that their work falls within our five focus areas, we welcome the opportunity to learn more.
Thank you again for all that you do to help make North Carolina a better place. As North Carolina faces new opportunities and challenges, including events like the recent coal ash spill in the Dan River, it is as important as ever to remain vigilant in our good work together. And hearing about the work of our grantees never fails to give me tremendous hope.